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‘The world of recruitment has changed dramatically’: Jobs scheme aims to boost employment prospects

A NEW jobs scheme run by Milton Keynes College and Milton Keynes Council aims to help those who have lost or are at risk of losing their jobs due to Covid-19.

The New Futures:MK scheme will help people to find work and assist businesses to recruit staff who are looking for a new career path. 

New Futures:MK launched this month and will run until mid-2022 with an investment of £650,000 from the council. 

“The world of recruitment has changed dramatically because of the pandemic,” said Tracey Matthews, assistant principal at the college for Employer & Student Experience.  “We can help people stand out in video conference interviews or show them how to use social media to improve their job-hunting chances.  

Tracey Matthews

“Some sectors have been hit very hard in recent months, including hospitality and retail, and there are a lot of people looking for alternative employment. We can help them identify the transferable skills they already have which might be attractive to companies that are hiring.” 

Those using the scheme will each be allocated a careers coach, a personal mentor and will be able to sign up for short or long-term courses to retrain for the new world of work. 

Some will be referred to organisations offering similar support for those facing redundancy, including the Department for Work and Pensions and partners of the Council’s £2.25 million Economic Recovery Plan.

Ms Matthews says employers across many sectors in the city need to know how specific recruitment practices have changed so they can prepare candidates to perform to their best when applying for jobs.

“Companies are doing interviews via Zoom, through online assessment centres and even using automated interview bots recording applicants’ answers. We need those employers who have vacancies to let us know what they are looking for.  

“We can arrange for them to give talks to prospective employees about their industries or their specific companies so that people know what their options are.”

The college is also looking for mentors from local businesses to talk to potential applicants about how their recruitment processes work and to provide advice on the interview process

“This is an opportunity to look at whole different groups of people who have been working in other industries and who might be able to bring all kinds of other skills and aptitudes these businesses did not even realise they needed,” Ms Matthews said.

Cllr Carole Baume, cabinet member for economy and culture, said: “We are really proud to be working with MK College to help local people develop vital new skills. The economic impact of COVID-19 is hitting our most vulnerable residents hard and we are determined to provide the support and opportunities they need to find work that is right for them.”

All Milton Keynes residents are eligible to sign up at www.mkcollege.ac.uk/newfuturesmk/.

For more information, call 01908 637072 or email newfuturesmk@mkcollege.ac.uk.

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